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Houseplant propagation guides

How to propagate houseplants in water

by Plants for all Seasons 07 Mar 2023

Propagating a houseplant cutting in water is an easy and inexpensive way to grow new plants from an existing one. This method is particularly useful if you want to create multiple plants from a favorite houseplant or if you want to share plants with friends and family. Here are the detailed steps to propagate a houseplant cutting in water:

  1. Choose a healthy stem: Select a healthy stem from the parent plant that is at least 4-6 inches long and has several leaves on it. Choose a stem that is free from disease or damage and is growing vigorously.

  2. Prepare the cutting: Use a clean, sharp knife or scissors to cut the stem just below a node, which is where the leaf attaches to the stem. The cutting should be at least 4-6 inches long, and it should have at least one or two leaves attached to the top of the stem. Remove the leaves from the bottom one-third to one-half of the stem.

  3. Place the cutting in water: Fill a small container, such as a glass jar or vase, with room-temperature water. The container should be large enough to accommodate the cutting and deep enough to allow the bottom one-third to one-half of the stem to be submerged. You can also add a small amount of rooting hormone to the water to promote root growth.

  4. Change the water regularly: Change the water every few days to keep it fresh and oxygenated. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus that can damage the cutting. Be sure to rinse the container and refill it with fresh water each time you change it.

  5. Provide the right environment: Place the container in a bright, warm location, but out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can heat up the water and cause the cutting to rot. A warm, humid environment will encourage root growth and help the cutting to establish itself.

  6. Wait for roots to grow: Roots should begin to grow in 2-4 weeks. You may notice small bumps or nodules appearing on the stem, which are the beginning of root growth. Once the roots are at least an inch long, you can transplant the cutting into soil.

  7. Plant the cutting: Choose a small pot with well-draining soil, and make a small hole in the center. Gently remove the cutting from the water, being careful not to damage the delicate roots. Place the cutting into the soil and gently press the soil around the stem.

  8. Care for the new plant: Water the new plant thoroughly, and place it in a bright, warm location, but out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. With proper care, your new plant should grow and thrive!

Propagating a houseplant cutting in water is a simple and satisfying way to expand your plant collection and share your love of plants with others. With a little patience and care, you can enjoy the satisfaction of watching your cutting grow and develop into a healthy, thriving plant.

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